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Shelf Talk 17: MCLS Wins National Grant

Great things are happening at the Mississippi County Library System (MCLS)! We’re gearing up for some fun activities this fall and winter, and eagerly preparing for the day when we can resume in-person programming in our libraries. Until then, we’re using the time to renew our space, build our collections and services, and shore up grant funding.

Have you visited the Blytheville library lately? Thanks to a new roof and skylight, our main floor is clean, bright, and full of growing plants! Come enjoy our seasonal decorations, stop by the fish aquarium, and checkout a cookbook, bestselling novel, or Halloween movie to enjoy at home.

We’re delighted to host a Blytheville Leadership Institute (BLI) volunteer team this year. These fine men and women are giving their time and talent to making the Blytheville library an even more welcoming place. Over the next few months, they’ll be helping us create a teen lounge area and working to transform our main floor. We are so thankful for BLI, and can’t wait to show off their hard work!

This fall, we’re focused on supporting area students and teachers through our Homework Hub initiative. In addition to the personalized tutors and test prep courses offered through, we are pleased to announce a new feature: Parent Coaching. During times of virtual learning, the role of parents and caregivers in the schooling process is more important than ever. Login to with your library card number and PIN at and select “Parent Coaching for Student Success” from the program topic drop-down menu. You’ll find tutors ready to coach caregivers in subjects like scheduling and organization, setting expectations, study techniques, using resources, motivation and goals, managing knowledge gaps, finding balance, and more. Follow us on Facebook for details on an Info Session introducing these new features, which will be online Friday, October 23rd.

We’re also celebrating the good work that students completed during our 2020 Summer Reading Program. Congratulations to Kellis Orr, winner of our t-shirt design contest! Her artwork is featured on staff shirts: come by to see her creative design! Kellis won a t-shirt, an art kit, and a first-place trophy.

This week we also congratulated two students who won the secret Grand Prize during Summer Reading: a t-shirt with Kellis’ winning design! Tabitha Hamilton earned over 5,000 points this summer by reading 1,300 minutes, writing 15 book reviews, and completing lots of fun story time and craft missions. Payden Brown earned over 5,000 points by reading over 2,000 minutes and completing 30 book reviews! Way to go, Kellis, Tabitha, and Payden!

We are delighted to announce that we will soon have internet hot spots available for checkout through the Osceola library, thanks to funding through the American Library Association’s (ALA) Community Connect grant. MCLS is one of only twenty libraries in the nation who received this grant, which will provide five Verizon Wi-Fi hotspots with two-year contracts and service for lending to MCLS customers; professional development resources; assets and resources on hotspot-lending best practices; a stipend to cover costs associated with implementing programming, and additional financial capability resources from ALA and their partner, Capital One .

In addition to internet hot spots, the American Library Association grant provides training and resources to offer Ready, Set, Bank workshops and other financial literacy resources during the 2021 calendar year. MCLS will be working with local partner organizations to provide these community experiences. Stay tuned for more information in the coming months and let us know if you’d like to volunteer!

The Mississippi County Library System is working hard to enrich life in our community. If you have an idea for a service or resource we could provide, let us know! As always, feel free to contact me at anytime with questions or suggestions.

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